Any unbiased analysis of the NDC Government’s performance in power after its 2008 Electoral victory must admit thus: Ghana was subjected to a not too impressive level of development with gross mismanagement in certain sectors.
Considering the campaign promises of the John Evans Atta Mills led National Democratic Congress in 2008 and the standard of expectation aroused among Ghanaians, it performed poorly. Factor in the Woyome scandal, problems in administrating the National Health Insurance Scheme (which was actually a brainchild of the NPP), criticisms from party founder Jerry John Rawlings and the formation of the breakaway National Democratic Party, and one suspects that they were heading toward defeat in Election 2012. But they won. Here’s why.
The demise of President Mills
Sad as it was and tragic at the time, President Mills demise was inevitably a blessing in disguise for the NDC. Not only did it elicited a surprisingly prolonged sympathy from sections of the public, it also granted the Government an opportunity to rebrand itself in the aftermath of the Woyome scandal and their inability to honour the promise of a one-time premium payment for the NHIS.
The Better Ghana Laptop project
The distribution of laptops among some Ghanaian students also pulled in votes for the ruling government. Students who benefitted from the project most likely voted for the NDC, and these who were yet to receive theirs also did likewise to the effect of maintaining the NDC in power to ensure the continuation of the program.
The John Mahama factor
The swift and strategic nomination of then Vice-President John Dramani Mahama as the NDC Flagbearer for Election 2012 was the ultimate weapon in the party’s election arsenal.
John Mahama was already a familiar face with an intriguing double-edged appeal—a Northerner with a Christian inclination—who was also easy to brand positively.
It had always being a suspected open secret that “Northerners were only good for the position of running mates in presidential elections;” and the NDC’s strategic selection of John Mahama sent a political rebuttal and positive message to open minded Ghanaians, who were perhaps reminded of the NPP’s strategic rejection of John Aliu Mahama in the 2007 NPP flagbearership race.
The selection of John Dramani Mahama as presidential candidate, the “normal“ abuse of incumbency, and the passing away of the gentle but gullible John Evans Atta Mills were all factors that swung Election 2012 in favour of the National Democratic Congress.